A prepared Cardinal defense and standout performance from Santa Clarita Christian running back Jonathan Boelter were too much for the United Christian Academy Eagles on Saturday.
Boelter, a junior, ran all over the Eagles, leading the way in the 47-22 non-league win at College of the Canyons.
The junior running back totaled 19 carries for 182 rushing yards and three TDs.
SCCS head coach Austin Fry was proud of Boelter in his second straight 100-yard outing.
“Quite honestly, the guy is just a workhorse,” Fry said in a phone interview. “He doesn’t seem to get tired. This week he got tackled by first contact maybe twice. You usually can’t bring him down with one guy. Our line has done a really good job of getting to the next level and our receivers are blocking down field. He’s getting to that second level because of the rest of the team getting involved in the run game, which is really unselfish. I’m really happy with that.”
The Cardinals’ defense and special teams also were stars on Saturday. SCCS (2-0) tallied three sacks, including one from Boelter, and for two interceptions by junior Eli Duhm.
“Everyone’s committed to taking care of their responsibility,” Fry said. “Everyone’s committed to doing their own jobs and trusting the plan for the week. We have a good group of guys who want to be involved in playing, they want to make tackles and be where the ball is, that helps the defense a ton.”
After holding the Eagles (0-2) to a punt on their opening drive, SCCS sophomore Caleb Shaffer gave his team even more momentum. Shaffer blocked the first punt of the game before Marcus May recovered the loose ball in the end zone for six.
The Cardinals kept the heat on high and took a 27-8 lead by halftime. All of Fry’s second unit was able to get some meaningful playing time from there on in, something the coach knows will be vital down the line.
“I have a solid group of second- or third-string guys getting more meaningful time,” Fry said. “I feel more comfortable this year investing in that second group. Most of the second half we had our second defense in. I appreciate that I have guys that wanna go in, get better and experience varsity playing time. That’s only gonna serve us down the road.”
Junior quarterback Cayden Rappleye also played well under center. Rappleye went 7-for-13 with 106 passing yards with two passing TDs to Duhm. The quarterback also added one score on the ground.
The Cardinals were originally slated to play their home opener at West Ranch High School but moved the game to COC during the week. It was the program’s first game back under the college’s lights in five years.
SCCS is off to its first 2-0 start in six years. The team may have the makings of reclaiming a league title, a feat the team also hasn’t clinched in six seasons.
Fry has his team completely bought into the system with one week of non-league play remaining before Heritage League action.
The Cards will hit the road on Friday for a matchup with the Valley Christian Academy Lions of Santa Maria (1-0).